North Carolina workers who are stationed on roadways know the level of danger they face simply by going to work and trying to do their jobs. Unlike many jobs, this is a situation where the combination of automobile accidents and work injuries intersect. The factors that cause motor vehicle accidents – distraction, alcohol, drugs, recklessness, drowsiness – put road workers in tremendous jeopardy. Recently, the state emphasized safety in work zones. Even with these laudable attempts to shed light on the problem of work zone safety, accidents will still happen and workers and their families should be cognizant of that.
Work zone safety is a priority in North Carolina
The Tar Heel State is focused on work zone safety and is taking multiple steps to ensure drivers are educated about it. There is a memorial dedicated to 37 work zone employees from the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) who lost their lives since 1979. In 2021 alone, more than 6,200 accidents happened in work zones throughout the state. More than 2,500 people were hurt and 29 lost their lives.
Since road workers are so vulnerable, the entire month of April has been dedicated to their safety. Steps that can help workers include being cautious, lowering vehicle speed accordingly and avoiding distractions. The weather and the time of day might be viewed as primary factors in these accidents, but facts show otherwise. In 2021 alone, three-quarters of work zone accidents happened during the day; 85% while the roads were dry; and 79% happened on clear days. Reducing speed to 45 mph from 65 mph over the course of two miles will only add a minute to travel time and can be crucial to preventing crashes.
Financial and personal challenges
Many jobs carry with them high risk of injury, but there are some that are worse than others. Physical labor and work that requires people to be in busy areas where automobiles pass at substantial speeds are notably dangerous. This combines the possibility of an auto accident with a work accident. With that, those injured should know about workers’ compensation to cover for wage loss and medical expenses and personal injury cases that can go beyond that level of coverage when filing a claim. When there is an accident, those who are hurt should know about workers’ compensation claims and personal injury cases. Having advice from those who are experienced in these areas can be helpful.